Project team

Roy Haex, Elvira Arslanova, Luuk Beursgens, Maria Vrachni & Zoe Terken


Jacques Terken (TU/e) & Dalila Szostak (Intel)


Terken, Z., Haex, R., Beursgens, L., Arslanova, E., Vrachni, M., Terken, J. & Szostak, D. (2013). Unwinding after Work: An In-Car Mood Induction System for Semi-Autonomous Driving. Automotive’UI 13. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, October 27-30, 2013, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Unwinding while commuting

Following a user-centered design approach, we developed a concept for an in-car system for (semi-) autonomous cars, aimed to support the unwinding process after work. The system exists of a mood sensing steering wheel, an interactive in-car environment and a tangible input device. We intend to assist the unwinding process with the usage of light and colors, which can have a relaxing or energizing effect on the mood of the user.

Some parts of the interactive in-car environment will change in color from a hue that resembles the current mood state of the user, to a hue aimed to bring the user in a more desired state. Moreover, the proposed system incorporates a more drastic feature that intends to immerse the user into a simulated environment.

This simulated environment will appear as soon as the user interacts with the tangible input device; images related to a certain theme will be displayed on the car interior and complementing sounds will be played. The user can interact with the simulated environment by moving and pressing the input device in different ways. The evaluation of the high fidelity prototype with fourteen participants demonstrates that users felt significantly calmer and marginally significant better, after interacting with the simulated environment than before.

No significant results were found when only color was changed. Results from the semi-structured interviews demonstrated that the majority of people like the system and think it will be effective to support unwinding. The results seem promising, but testing in a more realistic setting is necessary.

© Roy Haex. HillHase designed.